The Lego Movie! If you don’t know what it’s about, the title says it all!
In a world made-up of Legos, an ordinary yet super-optimistic Lego mini-figure named Emmet (played by Chris Pratt) discovers that he is “the Special”, the figure prophesied by the wizard Vitrivius (played by Morgan Freeman) to save the Lego universe from the evil tyrant named Lord Business (played by Will Ferrell). With the help of Vitrivius, the tough love interest Wyldstyle (played by Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (played by Will Arnett) and other Lego figures known as the Master Builders, they must try and defeat Lord Business from an evil and mysterious plan, as well as help Emmet discover his potential.
When I was a kid, I only played with Legos a few times with other kids, and never actually owned any myself. But watching this movie made me feel like I was playing with Legos, and in that it succeeds.
This film takes advantage of a Lego world, not just through pop culture references or the design and construction of this world, but it becomes a narrative plot point with the involvement of the Master Builders who take Lego pieces they can find and out of items and build something else out of it, just like how we’d use Lego pieces. It also becomes significant in the moral of the story: the power of one’s imagination. How everyone has the ability to express their creativity, and what this creativity can accomplish. This is a great and well-told message, and the way they used Legos to represent something nostalgic and creative is very clever. The villain of the story is Lord Business: without giving away anything, he’s a threat against the Master Builders, and a threat against creativity and spontaneity, as he wants to keep everything in order and in control. There’s a whole twist with “the chosen one” plotline, which again works well with the story and its moral.
The characters were a lot of fun too. All the voice actors pull off their performances really well, and we even get a few fun voice cameos, including Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern respectively. Emmet is a highly optimistic guy who is dragged into the plot without any particular special ability, but thankfully his involvement in the plot doesn’t feel forced, and he serves as both as an advantage and disadvantage to the group. The rest of the characters, including Lord Business, Batman, also had their strong moments and running gags, and each and every one made me laugh!
The animation was done cleverly as well, since most of the world was made of Lego pieces, and you can even see the details on the pieces as if they were real pieces. By having the frame rate lowered, it made it feel like stop-motion animation at times, except for some moments where some movements felt a bit more fluid than others. There’s cleverness and playfulness to it, and it’s also exciting and even beautiful to look at.
I was having a wild ride with full of laughs and cheers during the cinema. It was fast-paced, energetic, and full of pop cultural references made for laughs… but that might also be a problem for a few people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie to watch, but I have to admit that the film felt a bit overwhelming. Sometimes the plot wants to focus on the running gags and pop culture references that it sometimes stops the story to focus on them and its world instead, and we’re thrown gag after gag after gag. Sometimes there are so many jokes that they don’t even give us time to take a break or even breathe. While there are a few slow scenes in the movie, some get interrupted by another gag. It’s just too much to take in.
The action scenes themselves can be hard to watch too, at times. Because the frame rate is lowered, in the faster scenes it’s very hard to tell what’s going on, and sometimes they feel like flashing lights. This did bother me especially, since I watched this in 3D.
The other problem is that some people might be able to figure out the big twist ending, since they give out a few hints throughout the story. But luckily that doesn’t divert from the story itself, and the twist ends up being very clever and effective. It adds a deeper meaning to the film.
The Lego Movie is an amazing film that lives up to its title. It’s an animated film that takes full advantage of the universe and its world building, as well delivers with a great story and characters. It’s creative, fun, and hilarious! Sometimes it can be emotional, especially with people who grew up with Legos. But be warned: it might be too energetic and too manic for a few people, and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the end of the film. It’s like eating a full box of candy and jumping on the bed to play with your Legos and creating a full story and characters out of it (I wonder if that was the actual process of making the film). But in the end, that’s the entire point, and it fit in perfectly. All in all, I liked this movie a lot, and I’m sure others would too. A great animated film this year. Totally worth checking out!